From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has appealed to medical doctors in government employment to desist from using strike to seek improved working conditions, stressing that they may lose public sympathy in the process.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, said many avoidable deaths are recorded during such strikes.
The SGF said this when he received in audience executives of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD), in his office, on Tuesday.
Lawal assured them that the federal government within limited resources is desirous of improving the working environment of government medical institutions and that gradually, improvements will soon be seen in hospitals across the country.
He also explained that doctors in Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, are not being victimised but that the problem was that they demanded that the Chief Medical Director should be sacked, which was abnormal, since they did not have the authority to make such decision.
He said rather than demand for the CMD’s sack, they should made their grievances known to the government for action.
Lawal assured that government will look into the legitimate demands of the doctors and urge them on their part, to consider what they can also sacrifice to the country in this period of national rebirth.
The delegation led by the President of NARD, Dr. John Onyebueze, raised a number of challenges confronting the association which include poor funding of hospitals; lack of critical equipment; the issue of improved salary structure; pension matters and the plight of their colleagues in Federal Medical Center, Owerri.
He appealed that the SGF should use his good offices to ensure that government addresses these challenges.